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Re: [groff] Macron characters in pdf files

From: Deri James
Subject: Re: [groff] Macron characters in pdf files
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2018 15:27:23 +0100
User-agent: KMail/4.14.10 (Linux/4.4.114-desktop-1.mga5; KDE/4.14.35; x86_64; ; )

On Mon 04 Jun 2018 23:21:15 Peter Schaffter wrote:
> Greetings.
> I've verfied that the problem discussed in the following forwarded
> email exists.  -Tps has no trouble finding macron characters
> composed in vim; -Tpdf does.  Deri, I think this is your bailiwick.
> :)

Hi Peter,

I'm having trouble recreating the problem here. So I need a little help, since 
you can create the issue.

I have created a little test file in vimwith some macron(ned) characters. 
Since this is a utf-8 file I added -k to the groff command, but none of the 
resulting unicode glyphs are available in my fonts, so they are all rejected 
with the warning "can't find special character". Without the -k flag I do see 
the capital A’s described below, but this is just groff cheewing up the "wide" 
chars in utf-8.

The results, i.e. failure, are identical for both gropdf and grops.

If I now insert the line ".ft U-TR" at the top of the file, using the URW 
fonts which do contain the required glyphs, all seems fine and dandy for the 
gropdf output. As an aside it would be lovely if groff had the same concept of 
"foundry" as gropdf, i.e. you could put ".ft TR" in your troff file and select 
the foundry in the groff command line with something like "-y U". Groff would 
then identify the font to use as U-TR and that would be passed to the 

So I am a little stuck. If you can recreate the issue on your system, please 
can you run this example for ps and pdf using groff's -Z flag, capture any 
errors as well (2>&1), and send me the results.

But it may be all he needs is .FAMILY U-T or similar, to make it work, depends 
on whether his gropdf includes the U foundry.



NB Example  file builds with:-

groff -Tpdf -k macron.trf

> > Greetings good Sir and thank you for MOM!
> > 
> > I'm writing today because I cannot seem to overcome an issue where I am
> > unable to get macrons over vowels to display correctly in the resulting
> > pdfs. I am on Arch linux using vim as my text editor.
> > Groff version 1.22.3-7 is installed.
> > I use Atril to display pdfs.
> > I can write in Libreoffice Writer and enter the macron-vowels thru the
> > charcter selector, then export to pdf and the characters display correctly
> > so I have fonts installed sufficient to display the macron characters.

But perhaps not registered for gropdf.

> > I
> > can enter the macron-vowels in vim using the Ctrl-K diagraph keybindings
> > and they display correctly in the terminal. If I export the .mom file to
> > ps
> > the result, whilst ugly, displays the macron-vowels correctly, so I
> > believe
> > somewhere in groff something is going wrong. 

I'm not sure what "ugly" means in this context.

> > What I am getting in the pdf
> > is the Capital A with strange markings in place of the i or o with macron
> > intended. 

I see this, in both pdf and ps output if I don't include preconv as part of 
the run.

> > I found online a groff macro .AM which claims to be able to
> > produce macron characters, but I do not see how to incorporate this with
> > mom. I also tried \[i-] style with no luck.
> > I get "can't find special character" errors with this method.

I suppose this is composite \[i -], which generates the correct glyph, but it 
is not in the default font

> > Trying e.g. \[34] and \[de] works, but the macron does not seem to work.
> > Please tell me, is this missing funcionality or am I missing something in
> > the documentation on how to produce macron-vowels with mom?
> > 
> > I thank you again for all the hard work you have done to create mom - I do
> > not want to have to use Libreoffice Writer or another piece of software. I
> > love mom, but need to learn how to overcome obstacles such as this one.
> > 
> > Steve PhilippA> 
> ----- End forwarded message -----

Attachment: macron.trf
Description: Text document

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